Everything you need to know about chickpeas
The chickpea, a legume whose name derives from the Latin word "cicer," has taken the world by storm. No wonder, then, that chickpeas have become a staple in households around the globe. With their creamy texture, mild flavor and versatility, these legumes can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to roasted snacks and baked goods to hummus.
What are chickpeas?
There are two types of chickpeas: kabuli, which is larger and lighter in color, and desi, which is smaller and darker. Kabuli chickpea is the most common chickpea. Chickpeas are gluten-free, low in allergens, and a good source of lysine, an essential amino acid rarely found in other plant foods.
Benefits of chickpea
The benefits of chickpeas go beyond just nutritional value. They can be pureed to make soups and dips creamier, thicken stews, blend smoothies and puree sauces in place of cream. There's also chickpea pasta, which is high in protein and fiber and naturally gluten-free, and chickpea flour, which has a fine texture and a nutty, earthy flavor. The liquid from a can of chickpeas, also called aquafaba, can be used in a variety of recipes to lather or as a filling - a great way to use all the ingredients in the can.
How to cook chickpeas?
When cooking chickpeas, it is recommended to soak them beforehand to reduce cooking time and improve digestibility. Dried chickpeas can be boiled for 10 minutes and then soaked, or you can buy canned chickpeas that are already cooked and ready to eat. If you sauté the canned chickpeas in oil and spices, they will change texture and get more flavor.
Whether you're following a vegan diet or just want to add a healthy plant-based food to your diet, don't underestimate the power of the humble chickpea. With its impressive benefits and versatility, the chickpea is sure to become a staple in your pantry and fridge.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure that the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.